Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish counterpart Ersin Tatar signalled support for reviving dormant United Nations-backed reunification talks at a meeting this week, the U.N. said.
Anastasiades and Tatar had “expressed their determination to positively respond to the U.N. Secretary-General’s commitment” to convene fresh negotiations “at an appropriate stage”, the international body said in a statement on Wednesday.
Cyprus’ leaders had the opportunity to get to know each other and exchange views for the first time at the meeting, which the U.N. said was “informal” and “cordial”. It was hosted by Elizabeth Spehar, the head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.
Talks between the two sides were last held in Switzerland in 2017. The Mediterranean island has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974.
Turkish Cypriots voted in Tatar as the new president of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Oct. 18.
Tatar has advocated fully aligning Turkish Cypriot polices with those of Turkey, such as pursuing a possible two-state deal as an alternative to the long-held federal model for Cyprus. U.N.-sponsored talks to reunite Cyprus have long been based on a federal model.